Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dispensary Ordinance Passes 1st Reading

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Colorado Springs medical marijuana dispensary
owners are one vote away from guaranteeing their doors will stay open
come July 1st.

On Tuesday night, Colorado Springs City Council gave initial backing to
an ordinance that will create a pre-application process for medical
marijuana businesses. Under the proposed ordinance, businesses will have
to pay a $500 fee.

Council members also voted to require these businesses to be at least
400 feet away from a school, an alcohol or drug treatment facility, or a
residential child care facility. Medical marijuana businesses cannot be
located in a residential area.

Governor Bill Ritter is expected to sign into law a bill that will
require medical marijuana businesses to be licensed. House Bill 10-1284
was approved by state lawmakers May 12th.

The owner must have applied to a city by July 1, 2010 to remain open for
business. Under the law, dispensaries in communities that don't put new
regulations into place, would have to close their doors this summer.

City Officials say it will also give the council ample time to develop
an ordinance to regulate medical marijuana businesses. Since February
2010, the City Clerk along with the City Attorney, Colorado Springs
Police Department and members of the Cannabis Taskforce have been
working to develop an ordinance to regulate the medical marijuana

President of Cannabis Task Force, Tanya Garduno, said if this
pre-application ordinance doesn't pass, the entire medical marijuana
industry in Colorado Springs could be shut down. Garduno said, "it opens
up very opportunity for lawsuits in this city, last time I checked can't
afford that."

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